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Rangers fans can rule: Smith


Rangers manager Walter Smith

Rangers manager Walter Smith

Rangers manager Walter Smith

Walter Smith believes Rangers should not dismiss the possibility of fan ownership after the Rangers Supporters Trust confirmed plans for a potential takeover of the club.

The fans' group have submitted an “exploratory document” to the Glasgow giants with the aim of taking over Sir David Murray's majority shareholding.

Any RST plan would involve some degree of fan ownership, which is the ultimate aim of the Trust, albeit a takeover of the club, who are £31million in debt, would need to be underwritten by either a wealthy individual or consortium.

“I think everything at the present moment is worth looking at,” said Smith.

“That situation seems to be in place at a fair number of clubs across Europe. To be honest I don't know a great deal about it. The reports in the papers this morning were rather sketchy in terms of what it fully entails.

“Like everything else at the moment, you can't rule anything out. It seems to work at a lot of places, big clubs across Europe.

“Whether we can bring that to a Scottish or British club would be an interesting factor.”

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London-based property developer Andrew Ellis has also held talks with Murray about a possible takeover and Smith is keen for a resolution as soon as possible in a bid to secure the futures of key players.

John Fleck agreed a new deal on Friday and fellow teenager Danny Wilson is expected to follow suit this week, while Kevin Thomson

has expressed a desire to remain at Rangers when his contract expires at the end of next season.

But ongoing uncertainty at the club means the likes of top goalscorer Kris Boyd and Nacho Novo have yet to commit themselves beyond the end of the current campaign.

“We are obviously in a period of uncertainty as far as everyone is concerned and the sooner that gets sorted the better,” said Smith. “It's nice that the lads are hoping everything will be clarified shortly and then we can get on with business as usual.”

The Rangers manager is also keen to wrap up the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title as soon possible and insists the focus must remain on events on the park as they prepare to face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park tonight.

“The full concentration from everyone here is on winning the championship,” said Smith. “Players have a right to mention contractual situations but every one of them have shown — and will have to show — that their full focus is on winning the championship before we can start to do anything else. There can be no slacking off.

“It doesn't matter what anybody says about winning championships — you don't win them until you've got your hands on the trophy.

“We had to come from behind last season and I'm not saying that is easier but at least you've got the determination to catch up. This is slightly different.

“When I arrived three years ago, Celtic had a huge lead in the league and over the last few games they dropped more points than they probably had done at any other time in the season.

“That's maybe a natural thing. We have to make sure we keep an edge to our play.”

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